Why Upskilling Is The Need Of The Hour: Its Importance And Strategies

New technologies are being introduced to almost every industry on a regular basis. Therefore, it becomes imperative for companies of all sizes to evolve accordingly or face the danger of becoming obsolete. But the advancement in technologies also create gaps, where the demand for skilled labor is specifically high.

A recent report from World Economic Forum has stated more than one-third of the desired skills in most professions will comprise of new skills that are not even in the forefront yet by 2020. It sounds rather futuristic but the truth is 2020 is just two years away, so things are definitely changing at rapid pace.

Look at sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare and construction — one small technological development leads to a greater need to upgrade employee knowledge at the earliest. In fact, Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report says a large number of technology-related skills will fast decay.

However, an organization can counter this gap by making sure that it provides necessary training to its employees and help them in upskilling.

Why we need upskilling more than ever

1) Improves the retention rate

Upskilling ensures that employees do not become obsolete. The point is no one likes to work with organizations that are not ready to invest in their own employees. Trained employees feel more valued and that enables them to offer more at the workplace.

Therefore, empower them through regular training sessions, conferences, workshops or give them access to an on-demand training and mentoring platform. These small tokens of appreciation develop a sense of loyalty in them, and help you acknowledge all their hard work.

Training also builds a culture in the organization that is competitive and gives the employees a sense of achievement.

2) Boosts the morale of the employees

Employees who are trained consistently tend to be happier and have a better outlook of their future with the organization. It will get them excited in order to see what they can accomplish and how much they can grow. Knowing that they are working at bettering themselves, will create a deeper sense of purpose to stay in the organization and to contribute.

3) Increases customer satisfaction

When employees are happy and believe in what they are working for, they work better. Upskilling allows them to be able to keep up to date with trends, thus giving them an extra edge to offer best recommendations and insights. Clients are willing to pay more to work with a more skilled, knowledgeable, and proactive team. If clients are happy, they become brand advocates for the organization.

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4) Attracts new talent

When an organization starts growing, it needs to hire new talent. Once your employees are happy with the way they are being upskilled, they will become stronger advocates of your organization. They will start recommending their workplace to their friends, family and others. Suddenly, you have a wider pool of talent to pick from!

5) Creates a refreshed learning culture

It is an open secret that an organization that creates a learning culture will lead to greater success, as the employees are well-shaped to put their learnings into practice.

Basic upskilling strategies to implement

In order to create a robust model for upskilling, an organization needs to put a strategy in place first as that will make the management and the employees see your goal and get a buy in.

1) Personal development plans

Encourage employees to build a personal development plan where they list down which skills they want to develop and the core competencies they want to improve. Employees can identify new skills that will resonate with them rather than learn something that is forced upon them.

2) Time allocation during the day

Once the employees create their development plans, give them time to put that into practice. Give them enough time to leave early to attend the classes or courses and provide suitable environment for them to give online exams.

3) Job-specific upskilling

Offer the employees job-specific training to enhance their current skills. If there is a software or technology that is available in your organization that employees want to learn, provide that opportunity to them. You may also want to consider conducting certification courses.

Over to you

You may think that upskilling will cost you a bomb and your organization might not want to go ahead with it. The good news is upskilling can be done even on a shoestring budget if you get creative. There are many online courses that can help your employees get trained and upskilled in the process.

You can even use your most experienced employees to assist in designing an upskilling training program. Either ways you cannot ignore the advantages of upskilling the employees.